An Act To Strengthen Maine's Wildlife Laws
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, the feeding of bear, moose and wild turkey is creating a public safety hazard and having a detrimental effect on the bear, moose and wild turkey populations; and
Whereas, the open season on hunting bear begins on August 26th, bait to hunt bear may be placed beginning July 27th and hunters may train dogs on bear beginning July 1st; and
Whereas, Maine guides rely on bear hunting for their individual livelihoods, and communities in rural regions of the State depend on bear hunting for economic activity to help sustain their local economies; and
Whereas, migratory game bird hunting begins in October; and
Whereas, the importation and possession of wildlife requires immediate study; and
Whereas, the 90-day period will not end before the first events begin; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §10001, sub-§39, as enacted by PL 2003, c. 414, Pt. A, §2 and affected by c. 614, §9, is amended to read:
Sec. 2. 12 MRSA §10105, sub-§14, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 668, §1, is amended to read:
Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
Sec. 3. 12 MRSA §10902, sub-§6, ¶G, as amended by PL 2011, c. 253, §16, is further amended to read:
Sec. 4. 12 MRSA §10902, sub-§6, ¶H, as affected by PL 2003, c. 614, §9 and amended by c. 655, Pt. B, §99 and affected by §422, is further amended to read:
Sec. 5. 12 MRSA §10902, sub-§6, ¶I is enacted to read:
Sec. 6. 12 MRSA §11301, sub-§1-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 7. 12 MRSA §11302, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2009, c. 390, §3, is further amended to read:
This subsection does not apply to nonresidents who hold a valid Maine guide license.
Sec. 8. 12 MRSA §11851, as affected by PL 2003, c. 614, §9 and amended by c. 655, Pt. B, §184 and affected by §422, is further amended to read:
§ 11851. Hunting wild birds
Sec. 9. 12 MRSA §11852, as enacted by PL 2003, c. 414, Pt. A, §2 and affected by c. 614, §9, is amended to read:
§ 11852. Reopening season
Whenever a section of the State is closed to hunting by proclamation of the Governor during the open season on birds, the commissioner, after the proclamation has been annulled, with the consent of the Governor, may extend the open season for bird hunting in that section of the State for a period not to exceed the number of days lost as permitted by regulations of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 United States Code, Sections 703 to 712.
Sec. 10. 12 MRSA §11854, as enacted by PL 2003, c. 414, Pt. A, §2 and affected by c. 614, §9, is amended to read:
§ 11854. Nest or eggs of wild birds
A person may not take, possess or needlessly destroy the nest or eggs of a wild bird, except the English or European house sparrow , the rock dove and the European starling. A person who violates this section commits a Class E crime.
Sec. 11. 12 MRSA §11857 is enacted to read:
§ 11857. Unlawful possession of ruffed grouse
Sec. 12. 12 MRSA §12051, sub-§2, as enacted by PL 2003, c. 414, Pt. A, §2 and affected by c. 614, §9, is repealed.
Sec. 13. Wildlife Importation and Possession Task Force established. The Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife shall establish a task force to consider the effect of the importation and possession of wildlife and the issues of possession and exhibition of wildlife in the State. The task force must include a representative of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, a representative of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Bureau of Warden Service and 3 members of the public invited by the commissioner. The duties of the task force include developing recommendations for a list of restricted, unrestricted and banned species; amendments to current permit structures and fees; and the establishment of appropriate penalties for noncompliance with requirements. The commissioner shall submit a report by January 14, 2014 that includes the findings and recommendations of the task force, including suggested legislation, for presentation to the Second Regular Session of the 126th Legislature. The Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is authorized to introduce a bill related to the subject matter of the report to the Second Regular Session of the 126th Legislature upon receipt of the report.
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.